Myanmar: life in Rakhine camps 1/2

Published on Thursday 31 May 2018

In Rakhine State, 140,000 people were displaced during the outburst of 2012 and, to this day, still live in camps where their movement is highly limited. Restrictions on their freedom of movement have negatively impacted access to healthcare, education and livelihood opportunities.


Cha Ga Bagon and Ro Chi Da Hatu are two internally displaced people living in camps in the Pauktaw area, where living conditions are harsh and access to water during the dry season is limited.


Cha Ga Bagon is 40 years old and lives in one shelter with her 5 children. She has been a hygiene promotion volunteer for SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL for 5 years now: “I give hygiene awareness sessions to pregnant women and to children. I inform them about diseases brought by open defecation, how to use latrines, etc. The biggest difficulty is that many children don’t want to use latrines because they are not used to them.  


During the dry season, there will not be enough water for everyone. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL provides water during the dry season, which allows us to drink.


In 2012 we had nothing, now the situation has improved, but we still don’t have enough income to buy food as the market prices have increased. In addition, as we can’t move to other places, we have to pay local communities to buy food for us in nearby villages. However, we also have to pay them for this service, so every purchase counts twice as much for sometimes unhealthy meals.”


Ro Chi Da Hatu is 40 years old and has two children. Neither she, nor her husband are working. Her son, who does occasional daily work, is the main source of income of the household.


“The work that my son does depends on the needs, so he doesn’t work and earn money every day.


I am thankful for the quality of the water distributed by SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL. However, it is enough for drinking but not for domestic use.


Today, my biggest dream is to be able to move freely and go everywhere I want. I hope one day I will be able to go back to my hometown. I would feel better if I lived there.”

  • 54.4 million inhabitants
  • 149th out of 191 countries on the Human Development Index
  • 178.000 people helped

To improve the daily life of people living in the camps of Pauktaw in Rakhine state, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL provides them with safe water, builds and maintains sanitation facilities, and distributes basic hygiene items. Over the past few years, our teams have also worked on more sustainable solutions such as increasing water storage capacity in the camps and on improving water monitoring.


These actions have been made possible with the support of ECHO, OFDA, Unicef, Mairie de Paris, The Crisis Centre  and DFID.